Monday, December 15, 2008

Boosting Employee Morale in a Down Economy

I remember after 9/11 how significantly employee morale fell; it was understandable. Nevertheless, while I always found a great escape in my work during such periods, that obviously isn’t true for everybody.

Thus, it was not surprising — in the current economic environment — to learn that there is once again a breakdown in employee morale. A recent survey found that more than a third of employees attributed the decline in morale to a lack of open, honest communications on the part of their bosses about what was really going on in the company. Other reasons for poor morale were failure to recognize employee achievements (19%) and micromanagement (17%). Such breakdowns – with all the work to be done – are not good for any firm or for the economy at large.

Enter the Makovsky “We Achieve” program – designed to “make” bosses talk to their employees (and all of us talk to each other) and recognize those who role-model best practices. It is based around business-size cards, each with a Makovsky firm value: educate, communicate, innovate, initiate, collaborate and motivate. Anyone demonstrating one of those values through his or her behavior is given a card, noting on the back the specific action. The person with the most cards wins a cash prize bi-monthly.

Thus, it was interesting to note that 48 percent of executives cited communications as the solution to strong employee morale, and both recognition and monetary rewards were runners-up in the battle to beat bad morale.

Technorati Tags: employee morale, poor morale, best practices, micromanagement, innovate, 9/11, Makovsky, business, communications, public relations

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